ACEVO announces the Jane Slowey memorial membership programme recipients

Eight women leaders have been selected to benefit from a two-year programme of support and development created in honour of Jane Slowey.

Eight women leaders have been selected to benefit from a two-year programme of support and development created in honour of Jane Slowey, former CEO of The Foyer Foundation, and informed by her passion for building a pipeline of women in leadership. 

The civil society leaders’ network ACEVO has named the eight women chosen to be part of the first cohort of the Jane Slowey memorial membership programme, which will run for two years (2019-2020). The programme was announced in September 2018 with the aim of providing expert support, guidance, advice and mentoring for women who are aspiring CEOs, or are in their first two years as a CEO for a charity or social enterprise. 

The eight successful applicants are:

  • Carol Akiwumi, chief executive, Money4Youth
  • Emily Banks, founder, Stack Recruitment
  • Ciara Davies, chief executive, Metro Moneywise Credit Union
  • Ropinder Gill, chief executive, Lymphoma Action
  • Karen Pearse, director, PSI Volition
  • Jilna Shah, co-director, Migrants’ Rights Network
  • Precious Sithole, chief executive, Social Practice
  • Tara-Jane Sutcliffe, director, UNA Exchange

In keeping with the passions and priorities Jane Slowey held in her working life the programme prioritises applications from female leaders under 45, from a BAME background and/or women with a disability. 28% of applicants to the programme were from a BAME background, 12% had a disability and 57% were under 39. 

Of the successful applicants, half are from a BAME background, half have a disability and three-quarters of the cohort are under 39. 

Vicky Browning, CEO of ACEVO, said: “It was both inspiring and humbling to read all the applications for the Jane Slowey memorial programme. The selection panel was particularly impressed by the willingness of the candidates to express their vulnerabilities as well as their aspirations and ambitions. The quality of the submissions was extremely high and it was very difficult to decide between so many talented candidates. The volume of applications we received for the programme indicates a real need in the sector for more support for women leaders.” 

David Gold, CEO of Prospectus, said: “Jane Slowey was a great leader and was passionate about a fairer and better world. For over 20 years she quietly campaigned for more women in leadership positions and personally supported many. She would be thrilled at this programme and would have wanted to meet all the participants.” 

Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, said: “I was very lucky to have known Jane for many years, and during that time she mentored and supported me both with my career, but also with my personal life.  She was someone who was always helping others, giving people a leg-up, considering how she could use her networks and skills for the benefit of those who needed them.  So it is incredibly fitting that this programme is continuing the work that Jane held so dear in her name – a perfect legacy. I am delighted to be one of the mentors.” 

Tara-Jane Sutcliffe, director, UNA Exchange, said: “I’m absolutely delighted – and rather honoured – to have been selected to be amongst the first cohort of Jane Slowey Memorial Membership programme participants. For we lucky few, this is a significant investment and a strong vote of confidence in our potential as leaders to bring about change in civil society. I’m committed to voluntary sector capacity building and so was especially motivated to apply to the programme by the opportunity to ‘pay forward’ the learning and mentor a member of the following cohort. I very much look forward to a challenging and stimulating year ahead of personal and professional growth with ACEVO.” 

The programme received 116 applications between 3 September and 30 November and raised funding of £15,743.75 through a dedicated MyDonate page, with an additional £10,000 grant awarded by the Big Lottery Fund. Each recipient of the Jane Slowey memorial membership programme will receive full ACEVO membership, a mentor, four learning/networking/training days with fellow cohorts, and two annual dinners with fellow cohorts. The recipients of the first cohort will become the mentors for the second cohort starting in 2021. 

All applications were assessed and the final shortlist approved by the steering committee formed by Rosie Ferguson (CEO, Gingerbread), David Gold (CEO, Prospectus), Bethia McNeil (director, The Centre for Youth Impact), Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa (CEO, The Foyer Foundation), and Vicky Browning (CEO, ACEVO).

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